Art has been floating since completing a dull degree that means very little to him. He stays at his girlfriend Jessica’s apartment and dreams of being a singer-songwriter. Tired of Art’s lack of direction, Jessica breaks up with him, and Art moves back in with his parents, who are less than thrilled with the idea.
His music career is going nowhere fast and, while working shifts at a supermarket and volunteering at an adult care centre, Art feels he has hit an all-time low. Deep down, he knows that things could be much worse, but something about his naïve spirit allows his depression to grow deeper until he discovers the book It’s Not Your Fault in a bookstore’s self-help section.
A published self-help guru from Canada, Dr Levi Ellington has developed a system that he believes can solve all mental anguish and confusion caused by a dysfunctional upbringing. He promises that everyone can be happy and productive by following his precise steps, and Art hires him on as a personal life coach. At times, though, Dr Ellington seems slightly obsessive-compulsive and his teachings so regimented that they are difficult for Art to come to grips with.
One of Art’s oldest (and only) friends, Ronny is fast becoming agoraphobic. He stays holed up in his flat — paid for by his dad who doesn’t want Ronny around him and his new girlfriend — surrounded by a daze of nitrous oxide and electro music. Ronny loves winding Art up, and the two tend to bicker in the way only old friends can. He decides to give Art a kick-start by forming a band — as long as it involves going no further outside than his flat’s roof garden. Ronny strongly disapproves of Art’s preoccupation with Dr Ellington.
Art and Ronny know Nikki from their school days — back when he was a geek known as Nicholas Dwyer. He has since re-invented himself as the reckless free spirit and self-proclaimed womaniser ‘Nikki Fierce.’ In Nikki’s opinion, Art just needs to loosen up a bit, so he tries to teach him a thing or two about girls and life.
Jeremy is Art’s boss at the adult care centre where Art volunteers. He is likely the sanest influence in Art’s life and does not resist pointing out uncomfortable truths to him. Despite the fact that he does sometimes get weary listening to Art’s whinging, Jeremy does genuinely have a great deal of affection for him.
Art’s mother rebels against the strict rules her parents imposed on her during childhood by having none for her own family. Unfortunately, this lack of structure is accompanied by little nurture.
Art’s father has long-sought solace and understanding in the heavy literature and academic tomes imposed on him by his own father, and shies away from all emotional contact or confrontation.
Thumbnails link to high resolution JPGs suitable for print and web use. TIFFs for print use available on request.